Recently voted in as the tenth President of the State of Israel, Reuven (“Rubi”) Rivlin traces back his Israeli ancestry to the early 19th century. Born in Jerusalem in 1939, he is a member of one of the oldest Ashkenazi families in Israel; his ancestor, Hillel Rivlin, moved from Shklov, Lithuania, to Ottoman Palestine, in 1809, pre-dating the “First Aliyah” by 73 years.
The Rivlin family traces its roots back to pre-expulsion Spain, and counts among its members Rabbi Moshe Rivkes, author of Be'er HaGolah, a commentary on the Shulchan Aruch, Code of Jewish Law.
A lawyer by profession, Reuven Rivlin holds an L.L.B. degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Since 1988 he has been a Member of Knesset (Israel's parliament) serving in a variety of committees: Foreign Affairs and Defense; Law and Justice; State Control; Anti-Drug Abuse; Education and Culture; Ethics; Finance; House; and Advancement of the Status of Women. Rivlin has also served on a number of government inquiry boards. Since 1978 he has been a member of the Jerusalem Municipal Council; and a member of the El Al Executive Council (1981-1986); chairman of the Jerusalem branch of Herut (1986) and of the Likud Organization (1988-1993).
Mr. Rivlin served as Minister of Communications from March 2001 until February 2003. He served as Speaker of the 16th Knesset from February 2003 until March 2006. In March 2009 he was overwhelmingly supported as Speaker of the 18th Knesset, winning 90 of 120 votes.
Rubi was the legal adviser, chairman and team manager of the Betar Jerusalem Sports Association, and is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Khan Theater and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.